HIKING NOVA SCOTIA: Stroll peacefully through the ancient past on modern-day Mastodon Trail’s mammoth family hike – SaltwireApril 22, 2022
The wildlife for which it is named is long gone, but there is still plenty of nature, mixed in with obvious signs of the present day, to take in along Mastodon Trail.
The four-kilometre multi-use trail runs between Carroll’s Corner and Dutch Settlement, nestled between Enfield and Milford, Nova Scotia.
Mastodon Trail is not to be confused with Mastodon Ridge, as I did at first. You’ve likely seen the Mastodon statue (his name is Marvin, by the way) standing watch on the side of Highway 102, part of Mastodon Ridge, a popular stopping place near Stewiacke with mini-golf, ice cream, and a few fast-food joints.
Mastodon trail is not this far (one hour) from the city as I first suspected. It’s closer, with a quick 40-minute drive.
You’ll head up Highway 102 for about 30 minutes and take Exit 8 (for Elmsdale). Follow Elmsdale Road for just over 10 minutes until you get to Milford Road, where the Community Centre in Carroll’s Corner is on the left.
You can park at either end of this trail, so if you’d prefer, stop at Hurshman Road, also a left off of Elmsdale Road but before Milford Road. There is a small parking lot there.
We started behind the community centre in Carroll’s Corner. There is a parking lot with lots of space. You’ll head past the small playground and ball diamond to the start of the trail.
There’s a large display sign with information and a map.
The greeting sign at the start of Mastodon Trail offers a glimpse of the trail layout. Contributed photo – Contributed
The trail is part of the greater TransCanada Trail. The wide, crusher-dust path winds (it truly meanders) through a mature hardwood forest with softwood groves and eventually opens up to follow along one wall of the National Gypsum East Milford Mine.
Fact: this is North America’s largest operating open pit gypsum mine. In 1991, workers discovered 80,000-year-old remains of two mastodons. Archaeologists, mine workers and volunteers spent two years excavating the remains and other artifacts.
The area makes for a nice and peaceful hike. The surroundings are beautiful as you make your way deeper into the woods. There are …….